Friday, June 24, 2022

Free Things To Do Near Disney World

Dr P Phillips Community Park

Walt Disney World – Free Things To Do Without Park Tickets

Get away from the attractions

Map It: 8249 Buenavista Woods Blvd, Orlando, FL 32836 | Phone: 254-9038 | Website | Hours: 8 am 8 pm

If you and the family need a break from pushing through crowds and waiting in lines at the theme parks, head over to Dr. P. Phillips Community Park. The park is located between Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World. Kids can play in the splash pad and the entire family can enjoy a nature trail along the lake. If you brought your furry friend on vacation with you, they can get out the zoomies at the dog park.

Watch Theme Park Fireworks

You dont have to buy theme park admission to watch the spectacular fireworks shows. One of the top free things to do in Orlando with adults is watching theme park fireworks from anywhere but the theme park.

  • Disneys Boardwalk
  • The right side of the marina at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • The beach at Disneys Polynesian Resort
  • The Contemporary Resort make sure you face The Magic Kingdom
  • The Transportation Center at Walt Disney World® resort take the monorail for free.

Pool Hop If Youre A Disney Vacation Club Member

If you stay at Disney World using your Membership for any Disney Vacation Club Resort or at Disneys Vero Beach Resort, you and any of your Guests are allowed to pool hop with the following benefits:

  • Select pools at Disney Vacation Club Resorts
  • The pool at the Disney Vacation Club Resort where you are staying
  • Select pools at Walt Disney World Resort hotels

According to Disney, pool hopping is not available at the following pools at any timewith no exceptions to this policy:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disneys Contemporary Resort Bay Cove Pool
  • Art of Animation Resort pools
  • Disneys Beach Club Villas leisure pool
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa pools
  • Disneys Polynesian Village Resort The Lava Pool and leisure pool
  • Wilderness Lodge Boulder Ridge Cove Pool and The Copper Creek Springs Pool
  • Disneys Yacht Club Resort and Disneys Beach Club Resort Stormalong Bay

You can read the full guide to pool hopping at Walt Disney World as a DVC Guest.

Also Check: 10 Day Forecast For Orlando Florida Disney World

Free For Annual Passholders

Free Epcot Food & Wine AP Exclusive souvenirs Over the past few years, Epcot has been offering Annual Passholders a special souvenir for attending the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. In 2015, I received a small wine glass with the Epcot Food & Wine logo, and last year I received this Annual Passholder coin. Look in the festival booklet for details on future promotions, but the last few years just required going to Epcot 3 times during the festival. Also, keep an eye out for AP gifts during future Epcot festivals, like Flower and Garden or Festival of the Arts. Food & Wine is currently the only festival that has offered gifts like this, but that could change in the future.

Free Special Park Entry Disney recently designated one or two lanes at each park to be an Annual Passholder line. This has saved us a ton of time during recent visits, and it works for everyone in your party. Just look for the Annual Passholder Mickey logo!

Free PhotoPass If you are a Platinum or Platinum Plus Annual Passholder, PhotoPass is included in your Annual Pass. This allows you to download ride photos or any photo taken by a PhotoPass photographer for free. The integration with Magic Bands and the MyDisneyExperience app makes this a very seamless experience. Its somewhat magical to go on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and then see your on-ride picture and video automatically show up in the MDE app. This is a huge perk for these Passholders.

Watch A Rocket Launch

Free Things to Do Near Disney World

If your Orlando vacation lines up with a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, youre in luck. One of the coolest free things to do in Orlando with adults is looking to the sky and seeing a rocket launch into space. However, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is only an hour away from Orlando if youd like to see the launches up close. From Orlando, youll be able to see the rocket ascending into space, but not the launch itself. Still a cool experience, nonetheless!

Read Also: List Of All Walt Disney World Resorts

Hidden Mickey Scavenger Hunts

Pic from

Location: Throughout the Walt Disney World resort including resorts, theme parks, water parks and Disney SpringsCost: Free, however, you can buy guides and phone apps if youd like to do some serious huntingRecommended for: Any age

Description: According to Steven M. Barrett , a Hidden Mickey is a partial or complete impression of Mickey Mouse placed by the Imagineers and artists to blend into the designs of Disney attractions, hotels, restaurants, and other areas. Plainly put a Hidden Mickey is that cute little Mickey shape we all know and love hidden in things like the print of a carpet or the stones in a wall. You can spend hours and hours at Walt Disney World seeking out Hidden Mickeys, or you can make it a casual game that you play while waiting in line or walking between attractions.

How to get started: Once you have familiarized yourself with what you are looking for, you are set to start hunting.

Tips: For people that would like a more organized method of hunting, I highly recommend spending a little money on either one of Steven Barretts books or apps.

The Town Of Celebration

The town of Celebration is a Disney-made town offering scenic views of striking houses, well-groomed compounds, lush green parks, and the delightful Disney style of living. Admire the unique architectural atmosphere of the place as your kids play in the interactive fountain. You can also stop by the farmers market on Sundays and even experience snow falling if you visit during the winter months

Don’t Miss: How To Do Disney World Cheap

Things To Do At Disney Springs

For some reason, Disney Springs never seems to get the credit that it deserves as a worthy destination of its own. In reality, there are plenty of things to do at Disney Springs, especially at Christmas time.

Of course, there is the obvious option of shopping, but there is also so much more.

  • Shopping, shopping, shopping
  • Eat lots of awesome food-from snacks to Quick Service, to Table Service, to food truck, Disney Springs has it all when it comes to food
  • Go bowling at Splitsville
  • See a movie at AMC Cinema
  • Go for a balloon ride
  • Concerts and live entertainment at the House of Blues
  • Take a ride in an Amphicar
  • Let the kids ride the carousel
  • or let them ride the Marketplace Train
  • Play with Legos at the Lego Store
  • Go to the Photopass Studio for a family portrait If you have the Memory Maker package, the photos are included in that
  • Visit The Edison for late night drinks and entertainment
  • Experience The Void: Step Beyond Reality
  • Coming in the summer of 2019: The NBA Experience
  • Take in the live entertainment scattered around Disney Springs
  • See live Irish Step Dancers and music at Raglan Road
  • Take the kids for a makeover at Bippity Boppity Boutique
  • Make your own treat at Goofys Candy Company

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Little Big Econ State Forest

5 Free Things You Can Do at Disney World

Technically, this State forest is not exclusively free because various trailheads around the forest request you to make donations of only $2 per person. However, children under 6 years of age are charged nothing. This venue offers you the true worth of Florida wilderness. You can get to enjoy hiking on beautiful and scenic nature trails, go mountain biking, bird watching, and spot other wildlife such as river otters, deer, raptors, and bobcats on your way for free.

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How To Get A Free Disney Character Photo

Disney Visa cardholders have access to various promotions and specials throughout the year. The customizable credit card also offers cardholders access to a rewards system and discounts on experiences within the parks. Disney Visa users can also receive a free character meet and greet at both Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. Located at EPCOTs Innoventions hall, guests can meet and have a special photo taken with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. At Hollywood Studios, cardholders can meet Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. Free 5×7 photos of the encounter will be uploaded to the cardholders PhotoPass.

Take A Guided Food Tour At Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the best resorts to visit due to the amount of animals that you can see on the savannas.

In addition to just sitting out on a rocking chair and watching giraffes walk by, you can also take a guided tour of the Lodge.

This is one of the best things to do at Animal Kingdom Lodge and one of the best free things to do at Disney World.

The tour takes you all around the resort to point out the African influences, furniture, design ideas and artifacts.

Animal Kingdom Lodge cultural cast members are also on hand to talk to you about where in Africa theyre from and what customs are like in their hometowns.

Read Also: Disney World Shuttles Between Parks

Hunt For Hidden Mickeys And Other Things At A Disney Resort

Hidden Mickeys are an extra little dose of Disney magic thats been sprinkled across Disney property like pixie dust. These visual Easter eggs have been cleverly hidden throughout the parks and resorts by those crafty Imagineers. Track them down in a special scavenger hunt over at Disneys Wilderness Lodge and Boulder Ridge Villas, then get your reward from the front desk.

Free scavenger hunts can be found at a few other Disney resorts as well, though you arent always searching for hidden Mickeys, including the Port Orleans, Polynesian, Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation, Pop Century, and Animal Kingdom Lodge resorts. Talk to a front desk or recreation cast member to find out how to grab your scavenger hunt checklist and claim your prize.

Tour The Disney Resort Christmas Decorations

Free things to do in and around the Walt Disney World ...

Another one of my personal favorite resort freebies is to go resort hopping in search for all the Disney Christmas Decorations.

This can be done during the holiday season from November until early January. Its a fun activity thats even better with a free sightseeing ride on the monorail around the Magic Kingdom resorts.

Read Also: Hotels Near Disney World With Free Shuttle

Lego Store Hands On Play Tables

Weve loved the Lego store ever since my daughter had her first Lego car race with a car she actually built at the store. They had an area right outside where you could build your car AND they were running races every so often. My daughter is 9 now and still remembers that experience fondly. Im not sure if they still do the car races from time to time, but they definitely do have a hands-on outdoor play area and it wont cost you a dime.

Things To Do In Disney World Besides The Parks

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Disney World is famous for its theme parks, and for good reason. The parks contain amazing theming, great rides, and awesome food. You could spend almost every day of your trip inside the parks and probably never run out of things to do. But did you know that there are fun things to do in Disney World besides the parks?

We have even taken trips to Disney World without stepping into the parks at all. There are so many things to do around the Disney World resort without having to go into the parks.

All of these Disney activities are also perfect for any rest days you take during your Disney vacation. If your trip is longer than 4 days, I highly recommend you take at least one non-park day to explore the offerings around Disney Springs and the resorts.

Even better some of the activities on these lists are free things to do near Disney World!

Also Check: Shuttle From Universal To Disney World

Walk Around Disneys Boardwalk

Another free Disney activity is enjoying an evening spent on the Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk is both a Disney resort and a shopping and dining area, themed like a true Americana boardwalk with carnival games, street performers, an old fashioned ice cream shop and beautiful views out to the water.

Again, you can spend lots of money on Disneys Boardwalk because of all of the yummy places to eat and shops to go in, but you dont have to.

You can walk the Boardwalk at Disney World completely for free and just enjoy your familys company while soaking in the sunshine.

This is also a great place for a Disney World date night once the sun goes down.

Visit Disneys Wilderness Preserve

Things to do at Disney World Without a Park Ticket! | Walt Disney World Trip Planning

One of the coolest free things to do at Disney World is actually located quite far from the rest of the other Disney World attractions. Located about 20 miles south from everything at Walt Disney World, Disney has partnered with the Nature Conservancy to preserve a 11,500-acre plot of land known as Disneys Wilderness Preserve.

Within these 11,500 acres, there are over 1,000 plant and animal species. There is a 2.5-mile nature trail that is perfect for getting an inside look on how these plants and animals live and thrive in their natural habitats. Watch leopard frogs leaping and butterflies fluttering right in front of your eyes! Before you go, do know that sections of this nature trail can get quite muddy after a rainy day.

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Seminole State Planetarium Events

*NOTE: All Planetarium events are currently on hold. We’ll update this post when events resume.

Get a closer look at the night sky by peering into a telescope! Seasonally on select Thursday evenings, the staff of the Seminole State Planetarium hit the road with telescopes in tow and set up shop at a local park or business around Central Florida for Telescope Thursdays. The community is welcome to attend and take a peek at the beautiful night sky. Events typically last from 7-10pm.

The planetarium also hosts periodic star parties, which invite the public to the planetarium for an evening of telescope observations, planetarium dome shows, speaker presentations, and more.

See The Animals At Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge

View out the window from Animal Kingdom Lodge

You do not need to purchase a theme park ticket to Disneys Animal Kingdom to see some animals during your Walt Disney World vacation. Head over to Animal Kingdom Lodge, and you will be able to view the resorts savanna. There, you can spot animals like giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, flamingos, and more, all for free.

For a not entirely free, but budget-friendly trip to Animal Kingdom Lodge, you could also grab a quick service lunch at The Mara, and while youre there, be sure to check out the exhibits and artifacts in the lobby. With numerous pieces of art authentic to African countries, you can really spend hours seeing the animals and exploring the resort.

Also Check: Disney World 6 Day Pass

Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks From The Walkway In Between The Contemporary And Bay Lake Tower

So its time for the Magic Kingdom fireworks, and you havent purchased a ticket to get inside. How do you see them?

Theres a bridge in between the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower thats the perfect viewing spot.

They pipe in the music of the fireworks and you get a clear view of them through the glass.

I absolutely love this free way to watch fireworks in Disney World, and you dont have the crazy Magic Kingdom exit afterwards!

Watching The Enchantment Fireworks At Magic Kingdom Is Romantic And Magical

Free things to do in and around the Walt Disney World ...

Nothing says romance like Disney fireworks.

We love the Enchantment nighttime show at Magic Kingdom. If you’re looking to beat the crowds, you can watch it from the Tomorrowland bridge instead of packing onto Main Street.

It gives more of a side view of the show, but the crowds are typically thinner and you can still clearly see the castle. As a bonus, Tinkerbell flies right over your head.

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Take A Stroll Around Disneys Boardwalk

Disneys BoardWalk is one of my favorite free things to do at Disney World. While most people think of Disney Springs at the go-to free Disney area, Disneys Boardwalk is underrated! Take in the views of Crescent Lake , do a little dancing at Atlantic Dance Hall, enjoy a stroll around the promenade, or just enjoy the sights and sounds of a traditional boardwalk.

The one downside of Disneys BoardWalk is the fact that free parking is limited. If you ask the parking attendant, he or she will guide you to the free self-parking area if there are still spots available. If not, valet parking is an option. Or, if youre coming from somewhere else on the Walt Disney World property, you can take you can choose fro the myriad of Disney transportation options.

Orlando Museum Of Art

Address: 2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803 | Phone: 896-4231 | Museum Website | Hours: 10 am 4 pm Tues-Fri, 12 pm 4 pm Sat-Sun, Closed Mon

The Orlando Museum of Art is the premier art museum in Orlando. OMA presents 10-12 exhibitions throughout the year, so check their website to see what artists or genres they are currently exhibiting.

OMA has the perfect location for a day of arts and culture. It is located at Loch Haven Park, which also houses the Science Center, the Mennello Museum of American Art , and the Orlando Repertory Theatre.

On certain days, OMA hosts an Art Night Out for adults, which is a great way to get creative and bring home your own masterpiece during your visit to Orlando.

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